I admit it; I am proud. I hate leaving the house without my "face" (makeup) on, and I am the first to run screaming for the hair dye aisle in the market the second a gray hair grimaces at me from the top of my scalp. However, my obsession with my vanity does not have to cost me an arm and leg. There is no reason to refinance my mortgage so that I can leave the house feeling pretty, oh so pretty, when there are seven radical ways to save.
1. I stopped being a slave to brand names.
The Constitution says that all men are created equal; the same holds true of beauty products. In fact, everything you buy is made from the same basic ingredients. Drug store creations are no better than their department store counterparts. If you are spending more, you are buying a name and not necessarily a better product. I have had $2 eye shadows work just as nicely as the $20 Shellac at Sephora.
2. The proof is in the packaging.
Packaging determines how long beauty product ingredients remain beneficial. Plastic squeeze tubes are better than jars when it comes to insulating precious age-defying ingredients against harmful elements. I learned this through research, trial and a whole bunch of error.
3. I shop (and spend) smarter.
If I stumble on a little more expensive product I love as much as chocolate, I find a way to save. I seek out coupons and shop online using a rebate portal like E-bates or Fat Wallet. Using this crafty shopping methodology saves me about 20 percent on every beauty product I buy.
4. I look for green alternatives.
I found that Vitamin E oil applied directly to my skin is a kick-butt moisturizer. I buy the vitamin capsules, stab them and smooth the oil on my face once per week. This is oodles cheaper than pricey cosmetic counter serums and is good for Mother Earth to boot. (Not that I am a tree-hugging hippie.)
5. I get my basics at the dollar store.
I buy cotton balls, make up remover pads, swabs, applicators, hair clips and bobby pins at a dollar store and save 30 to 50 percent compared to what I would spend at a big box or drug store.
6. Save money on hair color.
Instead of paying high dollar salon prices, I opt for discounted services from my local Aveda beauty school. When I do not feel like embarking on the half-hour trek downtown, I do my own hair coloring for about $10. Remember, it's hair color, not nuclear fission. If I can do it, almost anyone can.
I found that regular exercise is my own personal fountain of youth. When I look at photos from a year ago, (when I was not working out like a fiend) I looked older. Exercise is the cheapest anti-aging product you will ever find, and it's less painful than a Botox injection. Honest.
When I started cutting my "beauty budget" by eliminating my $30 a week trips to the nail salon, cutting $150 at the hair salon every three months and opted for budget brand make-ups and creams that did the same deeds as their more expensive counterparts, I saved over $1,200 a year. If you ask me, pocketing the price of a Caribbean vacation is worth more than a $40 eye shadow, and is far more rewarding.
How do you save on your beauty buys?